bacon

Smoky Corn Chowder

Smoky Corn Chowder

 I was defrosting my freezer and found local sweet corn I had frozen last summer. I had forgotten all about it. I wanted to make soup for a dinner with friends, so I decided to use the frozen corn to make this chowder. I also had a pound of bacon, which gave the soup a wonderful smoky flavor. I cooked the bacon in the soup pot, allowing it to get pretty crisp. I removed as much of the fat as I could, but left the bacon in the pot. Then, when I cooked the onions and added the stock, all the little brown bits of bacon in the pot added even more flavor. It was a big hit. A perfect dish for a snowy evening.

Smoky Corn Chowder

1 lb. bacon

1 onion, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and sliced

6 c. chicken stock

2 potatoes, peeled and cubed

6 c. corn – I used frozen corn

2 cups half and half or milk

¼ c. flour

Salt and pepper to taste

Hot sauce to taste

Fresh chopped parsley

 

Cut bacon in 1-inch pieces and fry in a Dutch oven until crisp. Tip pot and spoon out most of the fat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add carrots and stock. Cover and simmer 10 minutes, then add the potatoes and corn. Cover and simmer 15-20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. In jar with a tight fitting lid, combine 1 cup of the half and half or milk with the flour. Put on the lid and shake until mixture is smooth.  Stir into the pot along with the remaining half and half or milk and cook, stirring often until mixture thickens up. Adjust seasoning to taste. Stir in parsley and serve.  Serves 6.

 

Maple-Glazed Apple Bacon Fritters

Maple-Glazed Apple and Bacon Fritters

Maple-Glazed Apple and Bacon Fritters

This time of year, with apples in season, it is fun to use them in all sorts of recipes. I’ve made an assortment of both sweet and savory dishes with them. This is one of my favorites. What could be better than combining apples with bacon in a sweet treat? The sweetness of the apples pairs so well with the smoky/saltiness of the bacon.

Fritters aren’t difficult to make. They really don’t take that long to make, either. I prefer to make them close to when I am serving them- so my guests can enjoy them warm.

They make a wonderful dessert, or a fun addition to a breakfast or brunch menu. I dipped them in the maple glaze, which also went well with the apples and bacon.

 

I must warn you, they are addictive.

 

 

 

Apple and Bacon Fritters

2 c. flour

2 T. sugar

2 T. baking powder

1/2 t. salt

1 c. milk

2 eggs, beaten

2 T. melted butter

1 c. diced apples

1 c. cooked, crumbled bacon

oil for frying- I used coconut oil

Combine dry ingredients and set aside. Mix together milk with the eggs and butter. Stir in dry ingredients until just moistened and add the apples and bacon. Heat oil to 375. If using gluten free flour, heat oil to 350. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls into the hot oil and fry until golden brown. Don’t do more than 4-5 at a time. It will take about  4 minutes in total but you need to turn them to brown evenly so 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Dip in maple glaze (recipe follows) while warm. Makes about 32.

Maple Glaze

1 c. Powdered sugar

1/2 c. maple syrup

a little water if mixture gets too thick

Combine all ingredients and set aside until ready to use.

Candied Bacon

Candied Bacon

Candied Bacon

I did a class all about cooking with bacon and I have been posting recipes all day. I wanted to do at least one sweet recipe with bacon. You knew it was coming. This one is only 3 ingredients- bacon- maple syrup (no fake stuff, please) and nuts. The end result is amazing. The candied bacon is easy to make. The hard part is letting it cool completely before eating. Once cool it gets quite crisp. Really yummy.  Try some and let me know what you think.

 

                             Candied Bacon

1 lb. bacon
3/4 c. – 1 c. maple syrup
3/4 c. – 1 c. crushed pecans, or any nuts you like. I used walnuts last night.

Preheat oven to 350. Put bacon in baking pan and bake about halfway through (about 5-7 minutes or so). Drain most of the grease and allow to cool slightly. Coat each piece in syrup, roll in nuts and put back on pan. You may need more nuts as you go along, though it’s up to you how much to cover them. Bake another 7-9 minutes, until desired crispness. If you do like crisper bacon, just be sure to move the cooked bacon quickly off the baking sheet onto parchment paper, since the syrup will harden. Allow longer cooking times with thicker bacon.

Pasta with Spinach and Bacon

Pasta with Spinach and Bacon

Pasta with Spinach and Bacon

The addition of bacon gives this dish a lovely, smoky flavor. That is one of the nice things about bacon. Even a small amount adds a lot of flavor to food. In this recipe a simple pasta dish with tomatoes and spinach is changed completely by the addition of the bacon. It could be considered a side dish, but can be a main dish as well. Start to finish this one takes about 20 minutes to make.

 

 

Pasta with Spinach and Bacon

1 (12 ounce) package pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
6 slices bacon, chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 bunch fresh spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, and cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Place bacon in the skillet, and cook until browned and crisp. Add garlic, and cook for about 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, and cook until heated through.
Place the spinach into a colander, and drain the hot pasta over it so it is wilted. Transfer to a large serving bowl, and toss with the remaining olive oil, and the bacon and tomato mixture. Serves 4.

Bacon Waffles

Bacon Waffles

Bacon Waffles

For me, breakfast doesn’t get much better than waffles. Well, unless maybe you add bacon to the waffle batter. Truth is, I don’t treat myself to waffles all that often, but if I am going to eat waffles I go all out. These are truly wonderful waffles. Light, crispy on the outside and studded with bacon. A drizzle of  warm maple syrup and you are good to go. So, if you are looking for a special treat for breakfast, or lunch, or dinner or a snack… try these bacon waffles. You can thank me later.

 

Bacon Waffles

1 pound sliced bacon
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, separated
1½ cups milk
¼ cup butter, melted
In a skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Drain; crumble and set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Beat egg yolks, milk and butter; stir into dry ingredients until smooth. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into batter. Add bacon. Before making each waffle, stir batter. Bake in a preheated waffle iron according to manufacturer’s directions until golden brown.

Bacon Apple Fritters with Maple Glaze

Bacon Apple Fritters with Maple Glaze

Bacon Apple Fritters with Maple Glaze

This time of year with apples in abundance it is fun to use them in all sorts of recipes. This is one of my favorites. What could be better than combining apples with bacon in a sweet treat? The sweetness of the apples pairs so well with the smoky/saltiness of the bacon. I have made these in the past with gluten free flour and they worked great. They make a wonderful dessert or a fun addition to a breakfast or brunch menu.

 

 

 

 

Bacon Apple Fritters

2 c. flour

2 T. sugar

2 T. baking powder

1/2 t. salt

1 c. milk

2 eggs, beaten

2 T. melted butter

1 c. diced apples

1 c. cooked, crumbled bacon

oil for frying- I used coconut oil

Combine dry ingredients and set aside. Mix together milk with the eggs and butter. Stir in dry ingredients until just moistened and add the apples and bacon. Heat oil to 375. If using gluten free flour heat oil to 350. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls into the hot oil and fry until golden brown. Don’t do more than 4-5 at a time. It will take about  4 minutes in total but you need to turn them to brown evenly so 2 minute per side. Drain on paper towels. Dip in maple glaze (recipe follows) while warm or roll in powdered sugar. Makes about 32.

Maple Glaze

1 c. Powdered sugar

1/2 c. maple syrup

a little water if mixture gets too thick

Combine all ingredients and set aside until ready to use.

Pear Salad with Feta and Bacon

Pear Salad with Feta and Bacon

Pear Salad with Feta and Bacon

I made this salad for a cooking class the other day. It was, as always, well received. The sweetness of the pears with the salty cheese and smoky bacon work so well together. The addition of toasted nuts adds just that extra something that works in this dish. I used walnuts this time, but love this salad with pecans, too. Serve over greens for a great and easy meal.

 

 

 

Pear Salad with Feta and Bacon

8- 10 cups mixed salad greens, washed, dried and torn into bite-sized pieces
3 ripe pears, cored and sliced thin
¾ c. crumbled feta cheese
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
½ c. toasted pecans, but other nuts can be used
5 T. cider vinegar
½ c. oil
Fresh chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
In large bowl place greens. Add pears, feta bacon and pecans. Combine remaining ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake well. Toss over greens and divide into serving dishes. Serves 6-8.

Amy’s Baked Beans

Amy's Baked Beans

Amy’s Baked Beans

I REALLY love homemade baked beans from scratch but rarely have the time to make them. Years ago I tasted my friend Amy’s baked beans and I knew they would always be a favorite of mine. Whenever she makes them people go back for seconds. It’s a simple recipe with relatively few ingredients.  Because you start with canned beans the cooking time is shortened. These can be baked in the oven or done in a crock pot. Super easy and very tasty.

 

 

Amy’s Baked Beans*

6 c. chopped onion

1 lb. ground meat

1 lb. bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces

1/2 c. brown sugar

2 cans tomato soup

3 can butter beans, rinsed and drained

Mix onion, meat and bacon in skillet and cook until onions are translucent. Drain off excess fat. Place in Dutch oven with remaining ingredients and cook, covered, in a 350 degree oven for 90 minutes.

Note: You can also cook in a crock pot on high for 4 hours or longer. Uncover, for awhile, if you like, for thicker sauce.

*This recipe has been in the McWilliam family for several generations. They are also called Grandma McWilliam’s Beans and before that Aunt Eilizabeth’s Beans.

 

Maple Bacon Doughnuts

Maple Bacon Doughnuts

Maple Bacon Doughnuts

These were one of the doughnuts we did for Fat Tuesday. As you can imagine they came out really good. Easy to make, too.

Maple Bacon Doughnuts

3 c. flour

1 T. baking powder

2 t. cinnamon

1 t. salt

1/2 t. grated ginger

2 eggs

1/2 c. sugar

1/2 c. maple syrup

1/3 c. buttermilk

1/4 c. melted butter

1 c. cooked, crumbled bacon

oil for deep frying

cinnamon sugar

Combine dry ingredients and set aside. In another bowl beat together eggs, sugar and syrup until well mixed. Stir in buttermilk and butter then stir in dry ingredients and bacon. Do not over mix. Chill dough at least a couple of hours before using. Overnight is better. When ready to use, heat oil to 375 degrees. While oil is heating roll dough out, on floured surface,  1/2 inch thick and cut out with a doughnut cutter. Fry several at a time for 1 minute per side. Drain on paper towels. Roll warm doughnuts in cinnamon sugar. Re-roll scraps. You will end up with about 18 doughnuts and 18 doughnut holes.

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